Oregon Lottery develops mobile app to target younger crowd


The lottery is aggressively pursuing two new initiatives that could change the face of gambling in Oregon, dramatically expanding both the games gamblers can play and the way they can play them.

“They are moving pretty quickly,” says Justin Martin, a lobbyist for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, whose Spirit Mountain Casino is the state’s largest gambling facility.

Oregon wants to jump into sports betting, an opportunity cleared by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision and one that could connect the agency to a younger demographic.

And, records show, the lottery wants for the first time to open up gambling on mobile devices, which could massively expand the accessibility and audience of state-sponsored games.

The first app could debut as soon as July.

The policy implications are significant. In a state that is already one of the most dependent on gambling revenue in the country, the lottery is moving toward the biggest expansion of gambling since the agency added video “line games” or slot machines in 2005.

Beyond the potential for making betting much more available to Oregonian, Shelby says the lottery will proceed carefully. “We want to expand in a way that makes sense and doesn’t hurt what we’re already doing,” he says.